Is your business processing sensitive credit or debit card data? If so, understanding the importance of PCI compliance is vital to your success.
Here’s what you should know:
What is PCI compliance?
PCI is an acronym for Payment Card Industry. PCI compliance is an agreement established by the PCI Security Standard Council that outlines a set of requirements to ensure companies are conducting safe data practices. These requirements include:
What does this all mean?
The goal of PCI compliance is to reduce credit card data security breaches or fraud to protect credit and debit cardholders. In order for a company to be PCI compliant, along with agreeing to comply with the set of requirements, they must evaluate internal operations, resolve problems, and send validation/compliance reports. Companies are subject to fines, penalties, and even the ability to process credit or debit card transactions if compliance requirements aren’t met.
Why is it so important?
Think back to the 2013 Target credit card breach. Over 40 million customers that used credit and debit cards at their stores had their personal information compromised. This resulted in Target providing a 10% off discount to customers, incurring $200 million in costs from the breach, and spending over $100 million for more secure technology.
Though Target came out strong despite the mishap, this isn’t always the case for other businesses, especially small to midsize businesses.
At the end of the day, major security breaches like this cause customers to be especially anxious when making credit and debit card transactions. Your responsibility is to let them know that transactions with your business are safe. Most likely, your customers won’t know the term PCI compliance, but being able to promote this and inform them that your business abides by industry standards for their protection will greatly attribute to building a trusting relationship with them.
What are the next steps?
First, to make sure you are ready for PCI compliance, we can review your business operations. We’ll be able to uncover any common problems as well as install any software, hardware, and procedures that will prepare your business for PCI compliance.
Once you’ve met and consented to the PCI compliance agreement, you’ll need to have your business’ compliance assessed annually.
Companies handling large numbers of transactions are required to have a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) perform their assessment. For smaller amounts of transactions, companies can choose self-certification by completing the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). Some regions require SAQs to be approved by a QSA.
Secure business practices start with us – reach out today.